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Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.
Updated: 35 min 11 sec ago

"Reminiscent of South Africa's Grand Apartheid": Israeli Human Rights Group Slams Israel at U.N.

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 08:41

Shortly after Israel announced a new “zero tolerance” policy toward demonstrations in Gaza, some 130 Palestinians were injured Friday while protesting ongoing Israeli occupation and demanding the right of return. Four paramedics and 25 children were among the injured. Ten thousand protesters gathered along Israel’s heavily militarized separation barrier with Gaza as part of the weekly Great March of Return protests that began March 30. Since then, Israeli forces have killed at least 170 Palestinians, including more than 30 children, and injured thousands more. We speak with Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. He was in New York last week testifying before the U.N. Security Council officially for the first time.

Trump Admin Attempts to Erase Existence of Trans People After Years of GOP-Led Attacks on Freedoms

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 08:28

The New York Times reports that the Trump administration is attempting to eliminate the rights of transgender people by creating a narrow legal definition of gender. Citing a government memo, the Times reveals that the Department of Health and Human Services has undertaken an effort across several government agencies to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex. That definition would be either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals a person is born with. The Times reports that the memo says, “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth. The sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex.” If enacted, the proposal would reverse the expansion of transgender rights that took place under President Barack Obama. We speak with Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU.

"Counterproductive and Dangerous": Nuclear Arms Race Feared as U.S. Quits Key Treaty with Russia

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 08:13

President Trump has announced plans to pull the United States out of a landmark nuclear arms pact with Russia, in a move that could spark a new arms race. President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 1987. The INF banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges. The treaty helped to eliminate thousands of land-based missiles. On Saturday, Trump vowed to build new nuclear weapons. We speak with Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association. He previously led the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers. He has been advocating for the U.S. and Russia to preserve the INF Treaty.

Netanyahu Attacks Israeli Human Rights Group B'Tselem for Criticizing Israeli Occupation at U.N.

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 08:51

Fears are growing as Israel escalates its military presence along its heavily militarized separation barrier with Gaza. Israel has deployed 60 tanks to meet Palestinian protesters gathering today to protest the ongoing Israeli occupation and demand the right of return for those displaced from their homes. Israel has announced it is implementing a “zero tolerance” policy towards protesters in Gaza, who have been staging weekly Friday protests since March 30 under the banner of the Great March of Return. Since then, Israeli forces have killed at least 170 Palestinians, including more than 30 children, and injured at least 18,000. We speak with Hagai El-Ad, executive director of the human rights group B’Tselem, who testified Thursday in front of the United Nations Security Council about the crisis in Gaza and the West Bank.

Dr. Madawi Al-Rasheed: In Khashoggi Murder, Saudi Arabia Must Not Be Allowed to Investigate Itself

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 08:33

As details continue to emerge about the disappearance and probable murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, we speak with Saudi dissident Madawi Al-Rasheed about Khashoggi’s history as a Saudi journalist & government insider and the future of Saudi Arabia. She is a visiting professor at the London School of Economics Middle East Center. She was stripped of her Saudi citizenship in 2005 for criticizing Saudi authorities. Her new piece in the New York Times is titled “Why King Salman Must Replace M.B.S.”

Dissident Saudi Academic Madawi Al-Rasheed on Khashoggi's Disappearance, U.S.-Saudi Relations & More

Fri, 10/19/2018 - 08:15

Evidence is mounting that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is directly implicated in the assassination of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkish officials say Khashoggi was tortured and murdered by a squad of 15 Saudi hit men shortly after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Four of the men implicated in Khashoggi’s death are reportedly linked to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s security detail. After weeks of defending Saudi Arabia, President Trump said Thursday that he believes Khashoggi is dead and acknowledged allegations against the Saudis. We speak with Madawi Al-Rasheed, a Saudi dissident and visiting professor at the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics. She was stripped of her Saudi citizenship in 2005 for criticizing Saudi authorities. Her new piece in the New York Times is titled “Why King Salman Must Replace M.B.S.”

As 2018 Midterms Approach, Native American Women Are Running for Office in Record Numbers

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 08:49

A record number of Native American women are running for office in the midterm elections. At least four candidates are vying to become the first Native American women elected to Congress, including Deb Haaland in New Mexico and Sharice Davids in Kansas. Three Native women are running for governor, and 31 are running for seats in state legislatures. In Fargo, North Dakota, we speak with Tara Houska, national campaign director for Honor the Earth and an Ojibwe lawyer. In Anchorage, Alaska, we speak with Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today. He’s a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. In Seattle, Washington, we speak with Gyasi Ross, a member of the Blackfeet Nation and host of the podcast Breakdances With Wolves.

Native Americans React to Elizabeth Warren's DNA Test: Stop Making Native People "Political Fodder"

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 08:33

Native Americans across the country are criticizing Senator Elizabeth Warren’s decision to use a DNA test to assert her Native American heritage. Chuck Hoskin Jr., secretary of state of the Cherokee Nation, said, “Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong.” We host a roundtable discussion of Native American activists and journalists to respond to Warren’s DNA test and the subsequent media coverage. In Fargo, North Dakota, we speak with Tara Houska, national campaign director for Honor the Earth and an Ojibwe lawyer. In Anchorage, Alaska, we speak with Mark Trahant, editor of Indian Country Today. He’s a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. In Seattle, Washington, we speak with Gyasi Ross, a member of the Blackfeet Nation and host of the podcast Breakdances With Wolves.

Sen. Warren's Claim to Native Heritage Didn't Aid Her Career, But Did it Keep Women of Color Out?

Thu, 10/18/2018 - 08:11

Senator Elizabeth Warren has come under fire since releasing a DNA test Monday showing Native American ancestry. The announcement responded directly to President Trump, who has frequently attacked Senator Warren by calling her “Pocahontas.” A Stanford professor of genetics says there is “strong evidence” of Native American lineage in Warren’s family tree dating back six to 10 generations. At multiple points in her career, Warren identified as Native American, but she says she did not use the claim to advance her career. We speak Annie Linskey, Washington D.C. Deputy Bureau Chief for the Boston Globe. She examined hundreds of documents to determine that ethnicity was “not a factor” in Warren’s rise in academia and law.

Investigation: As U.S.-Backed War in Yemen Raged, UAE Hired U.S. Mercenaries to Kill Yemeni Leaders

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:52

A shocking new investigation has revealed that the United Arab Emirates hired U.S. mercenaries to carry out assassinations of political and clerical leaders in Yemen. The former elite U.S. special operations fighters were paid to take part in missions to kill those deemed to be “terrorists” by the UAE. The UAE worked with the U.S. company Spear Operations Group, founded by an Israeli-American man named Abraham Golan, who told BuzzFeed, “There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen. I was running it.” The group’s first target in Yemen was a local leader of al-Islah, a political party whose members include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakel Karman. We speak with journalist Aram Roston of BuzzFeed News, who broke the story. His new piece is titled “A Middle East Monarchy Hired American Ex-Soldiers To Kill Its Political Enemies. This Could Be The Future Of War.”

A History of Crushing Dissent: Before Khashoggi, Saudis Targeted Feminists Demanding Right to Drive

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:41

As international outcry grows louder amid new revelations about the shocking death of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, we speak with investigative journalist Sarah Aziza about Saudi Arabia’s long history of targeting dissidents. Just weeks before the ban was lifted on women driving in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi government arrested several of the country’s most prominent feminist activists, including women who had been campaigning for decades for the right to drive. Sarah Aziza has been reporting from Saudi Arabia with the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. Her latest piece for the Intercept is headlined “Jamal Khashoggi Wasn’t the First – Saudi Arabia Has Been Going After Dissidents Abroad for Decades.”

Jamal Elshayyal: Response to Khashoggi's Death Will Determine Future of Saudi Arabia & Middle East

Wed, 10/17/2018 - 08:14

New details have emerged in the disappearance and probable death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was reportedly still alive when his body was dismembered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul more than two weeks ago. A Turkish source says it took Khashoggi seven minutes to die. The New York Times reports four of the 15 Saudi men implicated in the killing are directly linked to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s security detail. We speak with Jamal Elshayyal, an international award-winning senior correspondent for Al Jazeera. He wrote a piece for the Middle East Eye last year titled “The rise of Mohammed bin Salman: Alarm bells should be ringing.”

Trump Won in '16 Thanks to Voter Suppression Says Carol Anderson, Author of “One Person, No Vote”

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 08:47

Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election due to voter suppression. That’s what Professor Carol Anderson argues in her new book “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy,” which tracks the rise of restrictive voting laws across the United States. In it, Anderson examines how African-American voter participation has been systematically compromised since a 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act. By the 2016 election, turnout among black voters nationwide dropped from 66 percent to under 60 percent. The discrepancy was even larger in key areas like Milwaukee, where turnout went down from 78 percent in 2012 to less than 50 percent in 2016. President Trump won Wisconsin by a margin of fewer than 23,000 votes. We speak with Carol Anderson, chair of the African American studies department at Emory University in Atlanta, about her new book and the upcoming midterm elections.

Ari Berman: Republicans in North Dakota Are Attempting to Disenfranchise Thousands of Native Voters

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 08:40

The Supreme Court has ruled it will allow the state of North Dakota to enforce a new voter ID requirement that will make it harder for Native Americans to vote during the midterm elections. The state’s new voter ID law requires voters to show identification demonstrating a residential street address; but this has already rendered many tribal IDs invalid, since many Native Americans who live on reservations depend on post office boxes to receive mail. The law could make a difference in the close race between Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp and her Republican challenger Kevin Cramer. The race is expected to help decide who controls the U.S. Senate. We speak with Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones, reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.” His latest piece is titled “Inside the Unlikely Movement That Could Restore Voting Rights to 1.4 Million Floridians.”

Meet Desmond Meade, a Former Felon Trying to Restore Voting Rights to 1.4 Million Floridians

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 08:29

Voters in Florida are preparing to vote on a measure that would restore voting rights to 1.4 million people with non-violent felonies who have fully completed their sentences. One in five African Americans in Florida and ten percent of the state’s adult population are ineligible to vote because of a criminal record. Across the United States more than 6.1 million people with felony convictions are not eligible to vote. Florida is one of just four states that bar ex-felons from voting for life. The other states are Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia. The Brennan Center for Justice reports that Florida disenfranchises more citizens than Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee combined. We speak with Desmond Meade, the president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, who is leading the fight to re-enfranchise felons in Florida. He’s also chair of the group Floridians for a Fair Democracy. Meade is an ex-offender who was previously homeless. He is still disenfranchised. We also speak with Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones, reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and author of “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America.” His latest piece is titled “Inside the Unlikely Movement That Could Restore Voting Rights to 1.4 Million Floridians.”

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